ST536 STE EDITION

All about the ST536 030 ST booster.
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exxos
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Re: ST536 STE EDITION

Post by exxos »

Almost a year later...
I have been trying to do a few tracks here and there to try and keep this project moving along.. Basically all the routing is now done. It *should* fit in the STE, but who the hell knows until its built.

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I next need to work on the BOM and CPL files, and finish off the power planes. It will probably be a few weeks to complete.

As this is directly based on the ST356 port I did, this *should* be working to a point. I know I briefly tried the ST536 on the STE and don't think there was any problems. But I never did much testing . It is possible the STE may need additional tweaks of some kind to get it stable.

Not sure what to do about assembly of these yet because I will never get time myself to build any of these up. I could get a few boards made up at the factory if anybody wants to take a gamble on buying a literal Alpha board.
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andresv
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Re: ST536 STE EDITION

Post by andresv »

Sounds really good, so there is some pcb prototype coming up soon?
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Re: ST536 STE EDITION

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andresv wrote: Thu Apr 18, 2024 6:35 pm Sounds really good, so there is some pcb prototype coming up soon?
When I finished the assembly files yes..
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Re: ST536 STE EDITION

Post by exxos »

I guess it's the first time I have used the regulator as a jumper link before :lol: I make myself chuckle sometimes :twisted: :twisted:

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Feking Eagle again!

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Re: ST536 STE EDITION

Post by exxos »

The Internet is my witness that this passed DRC check :lol: :hide:

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Re: ST536 STE EDITION

Post by Steve »

@exxos I'd be keen to build up an alpha. One thought: perhaps the IDE header could be on the bottom side if it interferes with the keyboard or anything else. Assuming it doesn't interfere with anything on the motherboard :)
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Re: ST536 STE EDITION

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Steve wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2024 10:41 am @exxos I'd be keen to build up an alpha. One thought: perhaps the IDE header could be on the bottom side if it interferes with the keyboard or anything else. Assuming it doesn't interfere with anything on the motherboard :)
It's hard to say how it will all fit until its built up properly and evaluated. That's the reason for a Alpha, that it probably will suck :) I think realistically as boosters have little interest and are expensive to produce, I doubt there be any future revisions past the Alpha anyway.

If you look at this image viewtopic.php?p=91229#p91229, while the IDE header is higher up the board, it basically fits to the side of the floppy. The only things which may get in the way is the ACIA chips I guess. The connector could be soldered on the bottom, but other than that would need a fairly large PCB rework, which isn't going to happen :) Though I kinda assumed people would want to run a long cable elsewhere, which can only really be done from the top. So.. dunno.

I could get some birdseed board is made at JLC, but other than maybe like three people who would actually build one fully, I don't think it's really worth it. I just won't have time or be able to build any myself, so I will just go for a full fab run. Expensive, but not much else I can do. But I would rather not have my iffy soldering mixed into the equation when trying to debug a first board anyway :)
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Re: ST536 STE EDITION

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Some minor changes here and there and basically done. Thankfully the BOM wasn't too strenuous because a lot was already done for the ST536 anyway.

I need the PCB place to get back to me on some small header pins as I can't find any as usual. Aside from that, it is basically ready to go into production.

The bulk of the assembly will be done aside from the PGA socket. I don't know how expensive these will be yet, probably somewhere around £100-£150 I guess (this won't include PGA socket, CPU or testing etc) . I won't of course have these in the store until I have at least got the thing booting up on my own machine first. I will likely get 10 made, but will probably keep 2 or 3 back for dev work for myself.

I think it is a bit of a race to get these finished before the PLD's etc vanish from the main suppliers. I think overall it will be a short lived project.

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One thing I have just realised is that it really needs some sort of support at the back of the board.. So I'll probably just break out some holes somewhere..

IMG_2198.JPG
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Re: ST536 STE EDITION

Post by Steve »

@exxos what are the chances of using a proper PLCC socket, like both the monSTerbo & twiSTer boosters use? They surely cannot be *that* cost prohibitive if both those boosters have them. I know I'd certainly much prefer that to the fiddly method we've been doing with riser pins.
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Re: ST536 STE EDITION

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It would add unnecessarily something like £25-£50 more onto the price. To much just for some pins and block of plastic IMO when they only cost pennies to make. Exactly the reason why I came with my own solution instead to keep costs down for everyone.

In terms of the STE boosters where I got 100 made. Imagine the outlay even if they was only £20 each.. . Now imagine that item over multiple other projects. Plus import tax on top of the shipping costs. It all quickly adds up. I don't have unlimited funds either. It would just mean stuff wouldn't get done and even if it did, it's just making the end items more expensive reducing the chances of people buying them.

Atari people tend to be a poor lot, they don't generally spend a lot on stuff. A £100 item would end up being more like £130. Thats a BIG jump for the customer. Multiply that by 10-100x over for my buying prices.. It's all logistics unfortunately.

https://warwickts.com/4412/W9384-68-Way-SMT-PLCC-Plug
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